To pinch a phrase from the legendary Frank Sinatra, our long-term Honda Civic now comes to ëface the final curtainí. Clocking over 10,600 miles since June 2018, weíve had plenty of time to get to know the tenth-generation of Hondaís Ford Focus fighter. However, its final month on the Diesel Car fleet was to be far from straight forward.
A few weeks back, many of the UKís weather forecasters were telling us all to hold our loved ones close as an avalanche of snow was about to descend upon the South of England. Famously inaccurate at predicting Armageddon, I was content on ignoring the hysterical presenters when going to bed that evening. However, Hampshire ended up bearing the brunt of this snowy weather, leading me to exclaim a few expletives the following morning.
Four inches of snow had fallen in the surrounding area and it was showing no signs of stopping. The obvious advice in such weather conditions is not to drive at all, but I had an important meeting to get to, and the Civic was my only hope. With the Honda wearing regular tyres, as opposed to winter rubber which would have been ideal for this unexpected winter blast, I gingerly joined the road network. Thankfully the Civic has always delivered predictable responses to inputs, so it was much easier to gauge how much grip was available while driving. Passing a number of cars parked, letís say creatively, I took full advantage of this hatchbackís front-wheel drive layout. The Hondaís anti-lock-brakes got a good workout upon approaching a few roundabouts, but the car remained composed, with the system preventing the wheels from locking.
After the snow drama, the following weeks were business as usual, which is this carís speciality. The fact that its frugal motorway demeanour, compliant ride around town, and enormous boot, have all now been taken for granted is positive proof that itís a great family car. Not once have I pondered whether a piece of furniture would fit, or worried about an erroneous noise emanating from somewhere in the car. So, itís the perfect car then? Should you all surrender your Ford and Volkswagen keys as you march to the nearest Honda dealer? While my time with the Civic would certainly leave me recommending one, it does have one or two niggles.
My number one frustration is with the infotainment system; not because it freezes, not because itís overly slow, not because it lacks functionality ñ the bone I have to pick concerns ergonomics. The user interface is a maze of menus and many of the virtual buttons are difficult to read at a glance. Its saving grace is the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, of which I generally use every day. Other gripes? Very few if Iím honest. I wish there was more than just one curry-hook in the boot, and a solid parcel shelf in place of Hondaís easy to store ëroller blindí would reduce road noise, but thatís about it really.
If youíve followed our Rallye Red Civicís progress on these pages, then youíll know all about how itíll happily accommodate four adults and a dog on a long journey, prove durable enough to put up with the worst tantrums a toddler can muster, remain competent when driven with a bit of verve, all while delivering pleasing real-world fuel economy. The Civic SR is a well-equipped and spacious hatchback that comes complete with eye-catching looks.
Date arrived 20th June 2018
Fuel economy 80.7mpg (NDEC combined) 54.1mpg (on test)
Excellent real-world fuel economy that means trips to the pumps are few and far between.
Apple CarPlay has been the infotainment system’s saving grace. Honda’s system remains a frustration.